Superfake/The Parley by Superflex at Lunds konsthall in Sweden

SUPERFLEX, The Parley (still), 2016. Film. Courtesy of Gallery 1301PE, Los Angeles and Niels Stærk, Copenhagen.

 

SUPERFLEX’s exhibition Superfake/The Parley, specially produced for Lunds konsthall, originated in a presentation earlier this year at the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, Arizona. It was based on the discovery that one of the museum’s key works, the painting Pioneer and the Indian (1903) by the famous American artist Frederic Remington, was a fake, and on the wide-ranging political and economic consequences of this disclosure.

The painting depicts a peace offering before a meeting between two men on horseback, who here represent the native population and those more recently arrived. It is an image of a mythical and fictionalised Wild West, a historical motif that has been endlessly copied and reproduced. Yet today’s spectator is sure to pick up its problematic undertone: the Old West as a constantly encroaching territorial power. Remington’s depictions of “Indians and Cowboys” are so well known and so widespread that they have helped shape the perception of the great American West throughout the world.

The exhibition at Lunds konsthall is specifically spun around this painting’s destiny of having been degraded to the status of fake copy and how the well-known American vision of history the painting represents may be transferred to a Swedish context. Swedes migrated in great numbers to the United States a hundred years ago, but what is their relation to American culture today? What is the problematic around this? Which migrations do people in Sweden experience today? How does Sweden address issues of national belonging and identity? How does it define authenticity and value?

Such complex questions around identity, provenience and authenticity are asked insightfully, in-depth by SUPERFLEX, and with the warmth and specific humour that we have come to associate with them. The group consists of Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen. It was founded in 1993 in Copenhagen and has subsequently enjoyed considerable international attention. SUPERFLEX work consistently with issues related to the economy, democratic principles and self-organisation. The main ambition is to visualise the problems of economic imbalance, but also to indicate possible solutions. SUPERFLEX have, for instance, developed alternative methods for producing energy: a bio-gas system that has been realised in several countries across the globe.

Lunds konsthall – Mårtenstorget 3 SE-22351 Lund, Sweden
28 May – 18 September, 2016